241075 Employed Workers with Disabilities: Video Interviews and Survey Findings

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

David Gray, PHD , Program in Occupational Therapy, Washington University, St. Louis, MO
Lindsey Miller, OTD , Program in Occupational Therapy, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO
Meghan Gottlieb, MSW , Program in Occupational Therapy, Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, MO
Given the low percentage of people with mobility impairments and limitations (PWMIL) who work, discovering how PWMIL solve problems at work will give direction to improving the employment rate for PWMIL. Successful workers with disabilities have rarely been studied. This innovative research used two methods to collect data from PWMIL workers. A survey of PWMIL was completed by 99 individuals. Of these, 32 were videotaped at their work sites. The interviews were transcribe and coded for topics by relevance to acquisition of work, devices used, personal assistance used, work concerns, co-worker work relationships and . The survey demographic showed that the average number of years worked was 25 and that 37% earned more than $55,000 per year. The data from the survey and transcripts of the videotaped interviews both show that the primary factors contributing to the successful employment of PWMIL include assistive technology; personal assistance; physical accessibility of the general work building and of the work area; the attitudes of employers and coworkers; and flexible workplace policies. These finding highlight the types of support needed for PWMIL to succeed at work. Providing these supports to PWMIL, VR counselors, health care professional and employers will provide relevant information on what is needed for job success. Showing the video clips of PWMIL at work and what work conditions are needed for success will promote increased interest in hiring PWMIL and give PWMIL examples of jobs they might want to consider doing.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Environmental health sciences
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe survey results of successful workers with mobility impairments and limitations Describe results of transcriptions from videotaped interviews of workers with mobility impairments and limitations Access web site with videos of workers with mobility impairments and limitations at work List work site facilitators for workers with mobility impairments and limitations

Keywords: Disability, Worksite

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified because I am the principal investigator of this government funded project. I designed the project, directed data collection, analyzed data and wrote reports on the project. I have worked in the field of disability research for 35 years. I was the Director of National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research and Deputy Director of the National Center on Medical Rehabilitation Research (NCMRR). I have published scientific articles on this topic.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.